« PredošláPokračovať »
which art in heaven, that we upon earth, might consider that he to whom we pray, is in Heaven: that we might compose our selves with fear and reverence to come before him, and to present him with our prayers.
And again, he comprehendeth all that we may aske of God in a very short prayer, to teach us that our words must be few.
And to that purpose, in his Sermon he taught; But when ye Mal.67. pray, use not vain repititions, as the heathen do, for they think they shall be heard for their xauch speaking,
They that come in presence of great persons, speak their words by number and by weight, the very presence dotb stamp in them an impression of reverence and fear: now seeing God to whom we pray is invisible, our faith must behold him before us in glorious majesty, as hee faith, Ihave set God always before mee , and like Abraham, the neerer we come to his presence, and the more that we solicite him, the more shall vvet-Thaken vvith this holy fear; considering him vvho dwelleth in the light, that ro mancan attein unto, and confidering our felves that we are but dust and ashes: the heathen could teach, deos caste adeunto, let men go reverently, and inwardly cleave before their gods.
3 There are yet another sort of them vvhom their fins do oppress as a burthen too heavie for them to bear, vvhole hearts do smite them, and vvhose consciences do accuse them, that though the zeal of Gods house do bring them to Church, yet the fear of their unvvorthiness doth make them stand a far off, beating their breasts, and not daring to lift up their eyes to heaven
These had need of comfort, we must labour co pút metall into such, by telling them that he'whose face they seek is, God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and 2 Cor.1.za the God of all comfort.
Darid, is a full example of a distreffed man, fearing and yet Pfal.11). praying, or he contefieth, I am very fore afflicted, yet he pray- 167. eth God to quickèn him, he saith, Miy soul is continually, in my
hand, he was even ready to yield it up, yet the comfort that he had in God established his heart.
And herein God is most gracious, for when our sins come in our sight, and we are horribly afraid of Gods judgments, even then God sendeth his Spirit to us, not to take away our infirmities quice, but to help then, not to turne our sorrow into joy, but to landifie our sorrow,and to supply it with sighs and groanes, and this addition of fear and grief doch also mend devotion.
To fuch we must say, that cho gh he to whom we pray be in Heaven, yet he is our Father, and though great and glorious be his Majesty, yet he is the preserver of men.
David callech him our Sun and Shield, the brightnefse of this Sun
may dazle our weak sight, but the protection of this Thield will lave us from danger.
Be strong then, and God shall establish your hearts, he shall anoint you with the oile of gladnelle, and he shall say to your soul, I am thy Salvation.
2 Subje&tum, Vide divil. Supr. Pag. 29.
prayer is for the Church, that is, for all those that then were the visible fociety of such as worshiped the onely true God.
It is the duty of every child of God, and member of the Church to pray to God for the whole body of the Church.
The Church at this time was within a pale, and confined to the house of Abraham, not in his whole bloud, for Ishmack was excluded, in Ifaac was the promise, not in his whole bloud; for Esay was excluded, facob was Ifrael, and prevailed with God,of him came the fathers, and in his feed was the Church continued.
This Church was now threatned with deportation, and fundry great judgments, the Prophet teacheth them how to pray one for another.
To this there are great motives. .
1 The direction of Christ in the Lords Prayer, which calJeth God, our Father, aud in the procese of it, shewech that
the Church of God, is still included, Give us, forgive us, lead
2 The content that we give to God, in these generall prayers, which the Apostle doth well expresse.
Texhort that first of all prayers, cóc. be made for all min: For this is good and acceptable in the fight of God our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved.
All are or may be members of the Church of God, for ought we know.
3. The benefit that we reap hereby is great for thus we come to have our portion in the charitable prayers of others.
Ambrose, Si prote rogas tantum, prote folus rogabis, fi autem pro omnibus rogas, omnes pro te rogabunt. ::- 4 It is a true rule, that extra Ecclefiam non eft falus, without the Church there is no salvation: it is said that God added to Aas 2.47. the Church daily such as Mould be saved: the reason hereof is, bedause Chrift is no where to be found as a Saviour but in his Church, and the meanes of salvation, Preaching, Prayer, and Sacraments, they are only found in the Church.
Without are dogs, enchanters, &c.
Christ is the good Shepheard, and he hath his fold, all the 15. sheep that are without, must be brought to that fold, as himself faith, alias oves habeo, que non sunt de ovili hoc, illas oportet adducere. I have other sheep,&c. they shall hear my voice, there shall be one fold, and one Shepheard.se, and Joh.10.16
Therefore there is no safety in fingularity, they that forfake the Church, forsake the fold, the unity of spirit, not the singularity, is the bond of peace. 2 We are members one of anotherzi the common safety of the body communicateth perticular safety to all the members of the body. :'
- In the temporall state, the peace of perticular persons is included in the peace of the whole kingdome, therefore Jeremiah faith to the Church then in deportation
Seek the peace of the City, whether I have caused you to be car- Je:.19 7. ried away captives
, and pray unto the Lord for it, fur in the peace thereof all ge have peace.
Much more shall we have peace in the peace of the Church, seeing Christ bequeathed his legacy of peace, not to fome
parts and members of his Church, but to the whole body Joh.14.27. thereof. Pacem mtam do vobis, I give unto you my peace. It
must be so understood, for as he left bis Spirit the Comforter, so he left his peace the comfort, not to his Disciples onely, but to all the cliurch, therefore pray all that it may be well with thee, in communi bono, in the common good.
This teachech us to incorporate our selvs in the communion of Saints, per communionem pietatis et charitatis, by the communion of piety and charity , to be one anothers Orators, but especially to study and pray for the peace and welfare of the Church, let us consider it is the Spouse of Chrift, it is axLilly among thorns, it is a lower in the field, not only oper to all weathers, but co the cooch and foot of the beasts of the field, Saran going about seeking to devoure it.
Let our prayers to God refift Satan, and fight the Lords battail against him.
We heare of the troubles of the Church in other countreys, we heare of the tyranny of Popery, and the oppreffions of faithfull professours; if we give them no other help, yet let our prayers give God no rest, till he have mercy on chem, and give them deliverance.
This teacheth us to maintain truth and peace amongst our selves, let not the wounds and foars of a Church, that is he resie, and schisme, and feparation, be so much as named amongst us, as it becommęth the Saints of God, let not the common enemy of our Religion hope to build upon our 17ines, and to raise up himself by our fall, to strengthen his peace by our contentions, to be-night our clear and glorious Sun-fhine of the Gospel, so many happy years crowned with Peace, and the fruits of peace propagation, with his Egyptian and Cymmerian darknesle. ;!
Let us be of good comfort, their darkneffe dare not come fo near our light, for our' light will discover it, their errour dare not come so neer our truth, our truth will confute it
; and the God of Truch wil not suffer his truth to fail.
Yet if our unthankfulness to God for his light so long shining in our Church :: if our evil lives so unanswerable to our outward profession : if our contentions fo displeasing to the God of peace : our want of zeal and devotion in prayer, do turn away the face of God from us, we may thank our selves: and his justice may fay, Perditio tua ex te, Thy destruction is of thy self.
2 The Petitions; these are three , vide p. 29. I Revive thy work in the middleft of the years; that is as we have exp-unded it literally, in the mean time, preserve thy Church.
In which Petition we are caught: That the Church of God is the work of God;ye have heard i Doét. ipfo acknowledged by God himself.
Ask me concerning my Sons, and concerning the work of my hands, I12.45.11. command ge me.
Wherein God confefseth his Church to be his own work and therefore so comprehended in his care, that they may challenge his protection.
Again, He calleth his Church thus: The Branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
Ifa.60.21. And Duvid upon this prayeth, Forsake not the works of thy amont hands.
Pfal. 138.8 The reasons why the Church is thus called.
Because she chorch is not an Assembly that doth gathar themfelves togecher' : as we say, That Birds of a feather do fly together : but it is imxanoia, it is a congregation of such as the free election of grace hath called out of the world by the ministery of the Word of God, and the Sacraments.
The first Church of God, in whom God was glorified, consisted of Angels, intellectual spirits, whereof many kept not their firstestate, but were excómunicated never to be redeemed.
The first Church of God on earth, were our first. Parents, whom God created in his image.
The Creation miscarried by the fall of our Parents, who might have stood if they would. The election of grace remained unchangeable and conti